Metro departments to compete, other organizations encouraged to do the same
Mayor Karl Dean has launched a Metro Government-wide food drive to help stock the shelves of Second Harvest Food Bank prior to the upcoming holiday season.
The food drive is the first initiative in Nashville’s participation in Cities of Service, a national coalition of city mayors committed to filling needs in their communities by encouraging volunteerism and service.
“We joined Cities of Service with the commitment of engaging our citizens to address challenges in our community,” Dean said. “The need for food assistance has never been greater, so as part of this effort I’m asking area businesses and other organizations to follow suit and hold their own food drives, and for individuals to contribute to Metro’s food drive. Together we can help a lot of families.”
Food bins were delivered to Metro offices at the end of last week. To encourage participation, the mayor has created a friendly competition between Metro departments. The competition kicks off today and lasts through Nov. 24, when a weigh-in at Second Harvest will determine which departments collected the most food.
The competition will be divided into three categories: public safety, public participation and general government. In the public safety category, the Police and Fire departments will compete against each other. The Nashville Public Library and Metro Parks will compete in the category of public participation because of their ability to collect donations at their facilities. All other Metro departments will compete in the category of general government. The winners will receive the “Mayor’s Cup” for their category, with the goal of making this an annual event so the cups rotate among departments year-to-year.
“Demand for emergency food assistance is up 38 percent in Davidson County and food donations have declined over the past few months,” said Jaynee Day, President and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. “With more and more families seeking assistance, we are mobilizing our efforts to provide 7 million meals to hungry men, women and children this holiday season and the Mayor’s Food Drive is an easy way for everyone to get involved and help fight hunger in our community.”
“The food drive donations will be used to support Second Harvest’s Emergency Food Box program. The most-needed items include canned vegetables, canned fruits, canned meats, canned or dried beans, rice, macaroni and cheese, pasta, and peanut butter.
About Cities of Service
Founded in New York City on September 10, 2009, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors who have answered the historic Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act’s call to action. Cities – often at the front lines of our nation’s most pressing challenges – are perfectly positioned to work together to engage millions more volunteers in service and develop strategies to increase the amount and impact of local service efforts. More information is available at www.citiesofservice.org.